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Iowa College Aid

Free Money: Grants & Scholarships

Is This Really Free Money? 

Yes. While you have to meet certain requirements to receive grants and scholarships, you do not have to pay them back. Literally thousands of grants and scholarships are available to college students.

What’s the Difference?

Grants are usually need-based aid, while scholarships are usually merit-based. Eligibility for need-based grants is determined by your family’s ability to pay for college, with income being one important factor. Other factors might include number of people in your family and number of family members in college. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on particular talents or achievements. Merit-based aid might be given for academics, sports, arts or leadership, for instance.

Where Do They Come From? 

Scholarships and grants can come from government sources or from private sources (such as colleges and universities, nonprofit foundations and religious or service organizations). Notes: Reputable organizations will not charge fees for scholarship searches. 

Iowa Scholarships & Grants  College Board’s Scholarship Search Population Based Financial Aid

Where Do I Start? 

All federal and state aid, as well as many forms of school-based and private aid, requires you to file the FAFSA. Many state aid programs also require the Iowa Financial Aid Application.

VIDEO: What Are Scholarships and Grants? FREE BROCHURE: Grants & Scholarships